Sunday, June 17, 2007

Malaysia's Lina Joy loses Islam conversion case

It's sad that in Muslim countries they don't let people be the religion that they want to be. I guess if they don't force people to stay in Islam, many will leave.

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (Reuters) - Malaysia's best known Christian convert, Lina Joy, lost a six-year battle on Wednesday to have the word "Islam" removed from her identity card, after the country's highest court rejected the change.

She could not marry her non-Muslim boyfriend while her religion was Islam on her identity card.

Interestingly, the only opposing judge was the only non-Muslim judge:

The three-judge appeal bench ruled 2-1 against Joy. The dissenting judge, the only non-Muslim on the bench, said the department responsible for issuing identity cards should have complied with Joy's request to remove "Islam" from her card.

A, glad to live in the West where everyone can choose their religion and marry who they want to.

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Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

You can definitely choose your religion, but you still can't necessarily marry who you want!

June 17, 2007 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Not Muslim Anymore said...

But she is still officially Muslim, so you can't really choose your religion, at least according to the state.

June 17, 2007 at 12:44 PM  
Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

I don't know about Malaysian laws; I was referring to here in the west.

June 19, 2007 at 2:07 AM  
Blogger Bubbles said...

A little perspective is in order before one writes this off as another country that does not condone the freedom of religion. Race and religion are intertwined in Malaysia that there's almost no difference.

In Malaysia religion is not viewed the same way as it is in most countries. The best approximation I can use to explain it is simply this: Islam is to Malays what Judaism is to Jews.

Calling someone a Jew connotes both race and religion. Similarly calling someone a Malay implies their religion is Islam. In short ALL Malays are Muslims. Except for the 'bumiputras'. They are the indigenous Malays (very different from the city Malays) who are generally understood to be animists or sometimes Christians. In any case they are a very small minority.

When I lived there it used to confuse a lot of people. I got into a lot of arguments. They just couldn't understand you can't be non-Malay and Muslim at the same time 'cuz in their mind both are the same.

In addition the Malays enjoy so much benefit from the government. They are regarded as children of the soil. As a result the government goes well out even sometimes at the displeasure of the other major but migrant races (Chinese and Indians) to make them feel more comfortable but mostly not to be fazed out by the more gregarious immigrants. The only reasons the Chinese and Indians aren't complaining is because they know the general conditions in Malaysia is far better than India or China. Although in recent years there have been more vociferous calls for the abolishment of the 'bumiputra' quota system in all strata's of society.

Do you know in Malaysia only a Malay can be prime minister? Yup.

Taking all these into account you can sew how they understand what Lina wants. Basically what she is asking for is like a slap to their faces. Being Malay is a privilege earned by birthright. Unfortunately because it is synonymous to being Muslim changing her religion officially is like renouncing her race.

So I see this more of a case where a people are still guided by certain prejudices. Prejudices that work well for their peculiar system too, I must add.

Sorry for the long comment. I just like to put things into perspective because it facilitates better judgment.

Nice blog by the way. :)

August 20, 2007 at 3:23 PM  

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